How I Delayed D-Day

I was thirteen years old and living with my parents in Livingstone Road, Hove. Prior to the D-day launch there were hundreds of army vehicles parked all around the streets of Hove. Over a series of days, while walking home from school along Cromwell Road with a couple of mates, we would nip into the back of the lorries. Being just kids, we started to collect rounds of machine gun bullets and mortar shells.

We stored our booty in the empty basement flat of my friend’s house in Livingstone Road. By the time we had finished, the cupboard was totally full of enough ammo to blow up the whole street. A few weeks later the police came to the school and started to interview all the children. When they got to me, I told them I had found a single bullet and because I thought it was dangerous I had put it down a man-hole in the street. On getting home from school we panicked, gathered the ammo together in bags and took them to the garden of an empty shop opposite, where we promptly dumped the hoard into a pond.

A couple of years after the war had finished, the shop was sold and I watched as they cleared out the pond. On seeing the rusty ammunition coming out, I beat a hasty retreat. I never heard any more of the outcome and as I got older it wasn’t something I was going to readily admit to. But after all these years, I see no harm in telling the story. I often wondered if after this incident whether we held up D-Day!!

Comments about this page

  • I too was a recipient of some stolen ammunition, a vickers magazine and a bofors shell, “hide these” said my friend,”they had been stolen from Fishersgate”. Shortly the police car arrived they said “We know you didnt steal them!” Tell us where they are and we will say no more. They took them away and years later I was on a gunnery course in the Merchant Navy and discovered the shell was a grey noise explode on contact!!

    By Richard Stubbs (27/05/2006)
  • I went to George St School in Hove. In about 1952, one kid came to school with, and was showing others, a very corroded hand grenade. It must have been buried for some time, as I particularly remember the pin was almost rusted through. When I saw what this object of interest was, and the state of it, I hightailed it out of there. Hopefully all was okay, as no explosions were reported.

    By Richard White (15/06/2012)

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